Monday, February 28, 2011

Thankfulness



"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 5:20


Now how can I not give thanks always for something like that?

Our study in Ephesians has taken us to the passage above. It is so easy to be thankful for the things that make us happy or comfortable. I never have to be pressed to say that I am thankful for the 12 grandchildren that God has blessed us with. I am thankful!

But then he had to go and mess things up.
We read the whole verse!

Be thankful always.
Okay. I'm always thankful for my grandchildren. And my children. And my home.

Am I really?
Do I GIVE thanks?
Always?

...and for everything.
EVERYTHING?


That's what it says....everything.
Hmm.....

The pastor went on to point out 3 areas in which we are to give thanks in everything:


Give thanks for the good things in life.


Okay, that's easy enough.

Give thanks for those things that God is going to give in the future.

One thing he mentioned was to give thanks for dying grace.
I can do that!


Give thanks for the trials of life.
Some of the things he mentioned were financial problems, health problems,problems with friends and family.

Wait just a minute!

I must say that the greatest times of growth in my life are those times when God is stretching me by giving me trials. My tendency is to beg Him to release me from the trials, when His divine will may be to carry me through them.

Okay, Lord, I get the message.
Can we just go on to another passage?

Thank you for being my listening ear and caring friend,
Gloria





Saturday, February 26, 2011

A City Without Walls

"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls."
Proverbs 25:28

When our children were small I directed a children's musical for our church.
One of the songs went like this:

"Self control--it's just controlling yourself.
It's listening to your heart and doing what is smart.
Self-control is the very best way to be, so use a little self-control."

In some things that is so effortless. I can use perfect self-control with alcohol, drugs, bad language, any many other things. But then there is food! I find myself often like "a city broken into and left without walls."

How can that be?

I have often said that food is my thorn in the flesh. Although it has much to do with the flesh, I think that it is not a thorn; I just let my walls fall down. I can do all things through Christ who pours the power into me. (Phil.4:13), and yet I cannot use self-control in the area of food? How disgraceful!

So what do I do about this?

I call it WW (you know, like AA). I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, so when I see that my walls are broken down and I am defenseless, I go for help. Something in me rebels against this, because I feel that I should not need this crutch. But the Proverb says, "Where there is no guidance a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." v.14

I run for safety

I am presently rebuilding my walls with a combination of prayer and counselors. I only have a few pounds to lose. I'm not so concerned about that as I am self-control. I want to please God, to keep my city intact.

Is your city intact?

Thanks for reading my blog
Gloria




Friday, February 25, 2011

What Proverbs Do For Me

"Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel."
Proverbs 25:4


Do you ever feel as though you are in a boiling pot and can't figure out why?

God seems to have a way of throwing us into whatever situations are necessary in order to make us into what He wants us to be. I want to be free of the dross that keeps me from being fit for the Smith, but I don't want to go through the refining process to get there.
It hurts!
And I can't understand the "why" of so many things that happen in my life. It takes too long, it isn't comfortable, and I just don't like discomfort!
Oh, well...
It does seem that my Heavenly Smith is going to do it anyway, and I do want to be that fit vessel. But I'm just ready to get to the "fit" part.
Now!
Do you ever feel that you are always being refined and yet never quite get there? I guess that the saying, "Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet" is quite applicable to my life.
So please, be patient........

I'm glad you read my blog!
Gloria

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Lesson for the Children--Big and Small!

This is the speed bump in front of our house. Its effectiveness is deceptive in this picture, but it is NOT a good idea to go over it at more than 15 miles per hour. For many years there was no speed bump; we all complained that folks were speeding on our street, and one was put in. A very useless one. I think that people sped up to go over it! (It is incredible to think that people can drive 60 mph on a one block street.)

This winter the road was repaved, and the men began to work on another bump. My not-so-shy husband went out and asked them to put up a more effective one. And boy, did they! Now drivers try to speed over it, and thump! Their cars hit the road with a bang.

So what does that have to do with blogging? My dh and I were having a discussion this morning about the spiritual significance of road bumps and obedience. It seems that just knowing to do what's right doesn't often cause one to do what's right. We may know what God's law says, but our tendency is to disobey until we are stopped somehow. A small road bump may come along, and the first time we encounter it, we might slow down on the track to disobedience. But then we begin to feel like we can plow through that one. It becomes a little easier to just speed up and sin through it than to slow down and obey!

But what a great Constable we serve! The next time we try to speed through disobedience, He may have, unbeknown to us, constructed a bigger bump on the road of sin. This time plowing through it has major consequences.

We have 2 choices: either slow down and listen to the voice of the Master or ignore the warning signs and pay the consequences.

I don't like the idea of paying the consequences. One young man on a motorcycle was badly hurt when he ignored the signs near our house. You know, if we would just obey the law there would be no need for warning signs.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Gloria

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Model for Your Children to Follow

Last weekend my 3 girls and I, along with a special friend went to a conference in Dallas featuring
Sally Clarkson (http://www.wholeheart.org/.)

It was a wonderful time of fellowship with the girls and a very encouraging time of reflection for me and looking ahead for the girls. You see, it was really a Mom's conference. My girls asked me to go with them, and I figured that since I live with 4 little girls and help with home schooling, I may as well go and hear what they hear. What spoke to me was not necessarily what spoke to them, seeing that I am in a different season of life. But one thing that gave me cause for reflection was a question that Sally asked:

"What are 5 adjectives that describe who you want to become?"

1. An organized woman. I never feel very organized, and I really do want to be an organized woman. It's just that there are so many distractions.

2. An overcoming woman. Do you ever feel that you are a sinking ship? The Scripture says that we are more than overcomers through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

3. A joyful woman. John 15:10-11 says, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." In order to be joyful, I must obey my Father.

4. A passionate woman. I want to be passionate in all my endeavors as I seek to be the wife, mother and grandmother that God wants me to be.

5. A tenacious woman. I want to be a "no quitter" when it comes to things of importance.

Sally Clarkson said that our spirit is an example to others--how we walk with God is a model for our children to follow. Hopefully we will model righteously.

What are 5 adjectives that describe who you want to be? I would love to know.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Opportunities for correction




Today, we too rarely practice good manners...
When we neglect to require our children to say "thank you" when someone gives them a gift or does something for them, we are raising ungrateful children who are highly unlikely to be happy. Without gratitude,
happiness is a rare thing. With gratitude, the odds go up dramatically that happiness will be the result.


Moms, have you ever wondered why you give your children gifts? How many times have you gone to great effort, only to be rewarded with something like, "Why didn't I get
that one?"

My daughter set a beautiful Valentine's table last night, candlelight and all, bought little gifts--and one rather nice one--for the girls. I must preface this by saying that these are precious little girls and usually quite appreciative of things. But maybe the Valentine candy from 2 Valentine parties and Sunday School brought out the worst in them. Who knows? I think it's called "sin nature."

Some of them were definitely NOT appreciative. So what happens in an instance like this?
I guess there are numerous solutions:

1. Scream at them and tell them they are unappreciative brats! (There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18)

2. Jerk the gifts out of their hands and tell them that you will never give them a gift again as long as you or they live--and at this point it might not be very long for either of you! (see above verse)

3. Go to your room and cry, thinking that you are an utter failure in rearing children. (I can't think of a verse for this one.)

4. Try to use it as an opportunity for correction and discipline--but how?
a. Send them to their rooms for the rest of the night.
b. Make them work to pay for the items they did not appreciate.
c. Take the items away from them.
d. Apply the rod of education to the seat of learning. (Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15)
e. Talk, talk, talk. (Know this, my beloved [sisters], let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires." James 1:19-20)

I thought my daughter used some pretty good teaching tools last night, although she might not. She did talk to the older girls, helping them to understand that complaining that the article of clothing didn't fit was unappreciative and asking, "How could that have been different?" It doesn't take too much discipline for children who have already been taught to be gracious.

The younger one showed much less gratefulness and was properly disciplined. (I do have to say that my daughter came into the kitchen and exclaimed--away from the child, of course--that she was being a real brat! And she was. But things changed!

DON'T GIVE UP, MOMS. Line upon line, precept upon precept. Bringing up children is a real challenge, exhausting, time consuming, and often frustrating and seemingly unrewarding. But in time, by your loving discipline and God's wondrous grace and mercy, you will have the pleasure of enjoying those adult children as best friends. I do, and I am so very thankful.

My girls, my BEST FRIENDS

A good word for your children:

"Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright." Proverbs 20:11

Keep up the hard work!
Love,
Gloria

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh Happpy Day of Love!


Isn't this a fun Valentine mantle? These are all things that we have around the house and were pulled together in various places to make the happy day of love an enjoyable one. This is the first serious decorating for Valentine's Day that we have ever done, and we have loved having it around!


Our "Love Bug" (her middle name is Love--really) painted this for us.
I just Love it--and her!


I liked the blue necklace draped on the Eiffel Tower, but my designer daughter didn't. So it was removed.

On the kitchen counter. We like birds!

Our little pianist has been looking at this decor.

Notice the touches of Paris? We love Paris!

A little bit of glue, scrapbook paper and computer printing.

The lantern belonged to great granddad.

The dining room table

I wish that you could all come to visit. We could have a cup of tea and some of my daughter's homemade fresh bread or cinnamon rolls and just talk about life. We may get snowed in tomorrow, and if so, you probably wouldn't want to be here unless you like the noise of four little girls talking all at once. I do--most of the time.

Happy Valentine's Day with love,
Gloria



I'm linking to Rednesday at
http://suelovescherries.blogspot.com/2011/02/rednesday-with-cath.html










Valentine tee shirts and dresses




It's almost Valentine's Day, and I have been scrambling to get gifts done for the grandkids. There are many advantages to having 12 grandchildren, and as far as I can tell, only one disadvantage. And it always raises its ugly head on holidays. The disadvantage? 12 kids to get gifts for! I always have many ideas for the 9 girls, but the 3 boys are a mystery to me. I usually buy them something, although I could have made tees for them. I just don't know if they would have liked them. This time I bought match box cars and sticker books and drawing books. I hope they like them......I never know.

These are the tee shirts and dresses that I did for the girls, minus the 2 that have already gone to their respective homes.






My oldest granddaughter taught me how to make the flowers. And to think that I used to be the one who taught her!

Don't you love the little bird? I'm quite partial to birds. The Lord promises to care for me as He does the sparrow. Matthew 10:29-31 tells me: "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

These children have definitely stolen my heart!


Notice the zipper flower. Isn't that cute?


Lilly, the 7 year old, designed this one.


The butterfly reminds me that God is in the business of changing us into a
beautiful butterfly as we allow Him to control our lives.
Romans 12:2 says, "And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed (metamorphosis) by the renewing of your minds
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Just like a lovely butterfly is metamorphosed from a not-so-lovely worm,
we can be changed as well.
I encourage you, sweet ladies, to spend time in God's Word, the Bible.
Renew your minds with what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Love to all who read,
Gloria





















Saturday, February 5, 2011

Little Blessings

Good morning! It is Saturday morning and quiet in the house. I usually get up very early so that I may read my Bible and pray before all the chaos begins. By 7 o'clock our multi-generational household starts rockin'! Four little granddaughters, 10, 7, 4, and 20 months, dance and skip and talk their way through the day and into the evening. Home schooled children are always at HOME. That's the name of the game.

But I just wanted to share with any who would hear a few of the things that have happened this week:

Katie, our 4 year old, woke up the other morning and looked outside. She came running into the kitchen and proclaimed that it was "fuzzing" outside! No, not snow. It wasn't big enough for snow. It was "fuzz." Yesterday morning we awoke to what we told Katie was fuzz. She looked outside and said, "That's not fuzz; it's snowing!" And it was. We have had two "major" snows in 2 weeks here in Central Arkansas. We must have had a total of 3" of snow this year! Wow! Even the grandkids said they are ready for Spring. We just can't handle all this snow.

Maggie, the 20 month old, is being coached on manners by all who live here, grandparents, parents, sisters--even cousins when they come around. Some areas of success:

Yesterday, I asked her a question, and she said, "Uh-huh"--"Yes ma'am!" Oh, I am so proud of her.

Also, yesterday, she asked for ar-enge (phonetic spelling for orange). When I gave it to her, she said, "Thank you, Mama." She seems a little confused about who her mama is at this point. Now and then she even calls her big sister Mama. When there are 6 women in the same house, confusion reigns.

We're still having a little trouble with getting her to say, "No thank you" instead of "uh-uh." But it will come. Thank the Lord for small successes.

By the way, my friend at Prairie Flower Farm had a fun questionnaire for her ladies. I thought you might like to go over and look at her blog. She is a sweetie and always such an encouragement. Her button is on my sidebar. Just click and go!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blog Button

My grandaughter finally came and made me a button!!! Grab it here or off my sidebar.






Under Her Wings
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Favorite tea pots and tea cups for Valentine's Day


Let's Have Tea, Won't We?

Isn't it always fun to celebrate Valentine's Day? I'd love to have a tea party with the grandkids, but our church has a "Princess Party" for Valentine's Day every year, and the littlest ones through the teens participate. The teens are the helpers for the day. The home schoolers also have a party, so they are pretty well saturated with Valentine parties, therefore no tea party this month.

But I do have some favorite Valentine's Day tea cups and tea pots, and since there are 6 girls in this house anyway, I'll just enjoy tea with them! Here are my favorite tea pots for the occasion. I have bought most of these at garage sales or flea markets--all but the little Portmerion pot.



I do love this flower-full tea pots!

And now for my favorite tea cups for the occasion:
(the granddaughters have claims on these!)


And this is the lovely table decoration that we will use for our tea and biscuits!


A brief overview of St. Valentine's Day

St. Valentine has been associated with at least three different individuals who lived during the third century AD, a priest in Rome, a bishop of Interamna --now the Italian city of Terni-- and a Christian martyr in Africa. Many theologians believe that the priest in Rome and the bishop in Interamna were actually the same man (Catholic Encylopedia). The activities that may have landed Saint Valentine in prison were marrying young Christian couples, proselytizing, and offering comfort to other Christians suffering under Roman persecution.

Among the miracles attributed to Saint Valentine was the restoration of sight to a blind girl, who also happened to be the daughter of Saint Valentine’s jailer. Inspired by Saint Valentine’s wondrous deed, the jailer converted to Christianity. While this certainly contributed to Saint Valentine’s renown, it also may have helped seal his doom. When after suffering severe beatings at the orders of Emperor Claudius II Saint Valentine still refused to renounce Christ, he was beheaded. One story alleges that Saint Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and wrote her a farewell note which he signed "Your Valentine," sowing the seeds of a romantic tradition.

As is the case with Christmas, the celebration of Valentine’s Day is one mingled with both Christian and pagan traditions. While Valentine is a saint of the Catholic Church, his holiday is more often associated with depictions of Cupid, the cherubic Roman god of love, whose arrows cause mortals to be stricken with amorous intentions. February 14 may have been selected by the Church because this was the time of a Roman fertility celebration called Lupercalia, during which young men and women would be paired with each other via a lottery-type random drawing, a practice which the Church deplored and attempted to undermine. Other sources state that February 14 was the date of Saint Valentine’s execution. The general consensus is that he died in 270 AD. 226 years later, February 14 officially became Valentine’s Day.


Read more at Suite101: The Story of Saint Valentine: Valentine's Day History http://www.suite101.com/content/the-story-of-saint-valentine-a44462#ixzz1CisKOn41

We can always celebrate the truth that there is One who loves us with an everlasting love and was willing to give Himself up for us so that our sins which were scarlet may be washed as white as snow. The Lord Jesus Himself, has promised to never leave us or forsake us if we are His.

Have a joy-filled day!

I am linking today to:

A Stroll Thru Life
http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com

The Silken Purse
http://silkenpurse.blogspot.com

Tuesday Teatime with Lady Katherine
http://ladykatherineteaparlor.blogspot.com/

~ Teatime Tuesday with Sandi
http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/

~ Teacup Tuesday with Martha
http://marthasfavorites.blogspot.com/